The food storage and processing facility being built at Hamad Port will not only help transform Qatar into a regional export hub but it will also open many opportunities to downstream industries, according to Qatar Chamber first vice chairman Mohamed bin Towar al-Kuwari.
Speaking to reporters Monday on the sidelines of a business meeting between the Chamber and a Malaysian trade delegation, al-Kuwari pointed out that the QR1.6bn Strategic Food Security Facilities Project follows the public-private partnership (PPP) model.Last updated: March 04 2019 09:09 PM
“The project is a partnership between Qatar’s government and private sectors, and this is a good opportunity for the private sector to show its performance and strength. It also shows how the private sector could co-operate with the government further in more projects.
“The private sector will run the project, which will offer a lot of opportunities for downstream industries,” al-Kuwari emphasised, noting that construction of the food storage facility is on track “and will be delivered in time.”
In July 2017, HE the Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti announced the construction of the food storage and processing facility, which is capable of supplying stockpile for three main commodities – rice, sugar, and edible oils, for 3mn people for two and a half years.
Al-Sulaiti said the project will be handed over to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry once completed, signalling the start of Phase 2, which will involve private sector companies.
New Port Project executive director Maisar Jamil el-Qutami told reporters during the launch that the facility will have a daily capacity of 300 metric tonnes of rice, 300mt of raw sugar, and 200mt of edible oils.
“The project has the flexibility to add other commodities, and it is capable of producing animal feeds and food stocks from rice and sugar byproduct,” said el-Qutami, who added that the facility could spare 30% of its production for export.
The food security project, according to al-Sulaiti, will be built a 530,000sqm area adjacent to Hamad Port, adding that the project consists of specialised facilities for the processing, manufacturing and refining of rice, raw sugar and edible oils, which “will be available for local, regional and global use.”
The transport minister’s statement was reiterated by al-Kuwari yesterday, who said the project will not only supply Qatar’s food security needs but also the requirements of other countries.
“This opens the opportunity for the private sector to address the requirements of the government, to secure local food and emergency needs, and to expand different industries for export.
“The project encourages PPPs, so we are looking for other similar projects; the private sector is looking for international partners to operate the project,” al-Kuwari told Gulf Times.